The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS) identified that 75% of the problems in their school district start online. Social media is a huge avenue for misunderstandings, miscommunications, and misinterpretations of content leading to fights through Email, Facebook, Twitter, SecondLife and other social media. Sunnyvale’s DPS is working alongside the Trust and Safety division of Yahoo to create the School Resource Officer Digital Safety Education Program.
The initiative has trained 400 officers throughout 19 California counties. In turn these digital safety specialists have educated 10,000 Bay area students about online safety. The officers give a power point presentation to students explaining how to report cyber bullying through their school website. The students can also report cyber bullying incidents first hand or even second hand anonymously.
The Sunnyvale DPS is trying to branch out through California as more and more requests come in for training from other precincts. The areas in which the officers have given presentations in the school systems see a jump in cyber bullying incident reports. This shows the safety presentation is affecting kids, showing them cyber bullying is a crime, and that the schools and law enforcement take it seriously.
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